Automakers were in the spotlight at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, and a number of car brands — including GM and Ford — detailed the progress they have made in their fully autonomous self-driving car technology.
- GM announced a partnership with ride-hailing service Lyft to build a nationwide fleet of self-driving vehicles that consumers can order on demand through Lyft’s app. As part of the partnership, GM will invest $500 million in Lyft’s latest funding round.
- Ford announced plans to triple its fleet of self-driving test vehicles to 30 by the end of this year, which would make it the largest fleet of self-driving vehicles owned by any automaker. These new cars will be equipped with a new LiDAR sensor from Velodyne Inc. that is much smaller than traditional LiDAR systems, which can be difficult to mount on vehicles. LiDAR sensors help self-driving cars detect and avoid other objects in their vicinity. Ford plans to test the cars in California, Michigan, and Arizona this year.
Following CES, Tesla released an update that enables car owners to summon their vehicle from up to 33 feet away using their key fob or smartphone; the vehicle is able to start itself and drive to the car owner’s location to pick them up on private property. BI Intelligence refers to Tesla’s summoning feature as “Remote Valet Assistant” and had previously estimated that the feature would be available to the consumer market in 2016.
In a new report from BI Intelligence, we examine the major strides automakers and tech companies have made to overcome the barriers currently preventing fully autonomous cars from hitting the market. Further, we examine global survey results showing where fully autonomous cars are highly desired.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
Three barriers have been preventing fully autonomous cars from hitting the road: 1) high technological component prices; 2) varying degrees of consumer trust in the technology; and 3) relatively nonexistentregulations. Howev
er, in the past six months, there have been many advances in overcoming these barriers.
- Technology has been improving as new market entrants find innovative ways to expand on existing fully autonomous car technology. As a result, the price of the components required for fully autonomous cars has been dropping.
- Consumer trust in fully autonomous vehicle technology has increased in the past two years.
- California became the first US state to propose regulations. California’s regulations stipulate that a fully autonomous car must have a driver behind the wheel at all times, discouraging Google’s and Uber’s idea of a driverless taxi system.
In full, the report:
- Examines consumer trust in fully autonomous vehicles
- Identifies technological advancements that have been made in the industry
- Analyses the cost of fully autonomous technology and identifies how cost is being reduced
- Explains the current regulations surrounding fully autonomous cars
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